Let it Go
Off the Wall, July 24,

So there I sat, enjoying the comfort of the late Spring temperatures, in front of my building on Ligonier Street one evening. All was as usual. Cars sped by, some old, some new. Occasionally, an arm was projected through one of the openings of a vehicle in form of a wave with accompanied words “Hi Pee Vee” or just “Pee Vee.” I in turn would do the same, usually shouting, “Hey…” I learned that comeback from a high school friend back in the 60’s. I never forgot it.

As I took in the pink sky in the west, what could be seen of the remaining sunset, I happened to glance off to my right just above the apartment building catty-corner to my residence. Rising quickly from the back corner of the structure was a helium balloon with what appeared to be a white ribbon attached.

As it headed upward in a southwestern direction, many thoughts came to my mind, some going back as early as my childhood. I recall my mother as well as family and friends stating that I have to always take care in making sure the string attached to floating possessions must always be secured. I should either tie it down or grasp it firmly around my fingers usually making a fist so as to make sure it wouldn’t escape.

Somehow, the law of averages always played against me. Sometime, somehow, when I least expected, my prized, silver keepsake would find its way to a doorway or out an open window only to head to the heavens of unknown destinations.

Such was the case of this balloon, I can only imagine.

Climbing swiftly up and away, the ribbon, maybe six feet in length, could be seen dangling from the knotted material. It appeared helpless as though it had to tag along against its wishes.

As I noted its ascent, the once quarter-sized silver octagonal object diminished in size as it quickly made its way to the moon that just recently had shown its form against the dark blue skies of this June evening. As the sun reflected against parts of its silver coloring, now no bigger than a pin head, it was harder and harder to see.

All at once, a motorist honked his horn twice in front of me, distracting me long enough to take my eyes off the balloon. I tried to see who the driver was, but not only lost sight of him but also the subject at hand. Both were gone in no time, never to be seen again.

I turned to God and asked, “Is there a lesson to be learned here that may be shareable in a column?” This is what He told me.

Everyone has problems at one time or another. They are experiences that lead to lessons learned. They may involve employment situations, marital problems or everyday roadblocks. It is how one goes about eliminating them that is the real challenge of each person.

Individuals will become so engrossed with dilemmas that sometimes they hold on to them and refuse to let them go. They will complain to others, fret, and harbor emotions. It’s as though they are holding the string to the balloon and not wanting to let it go. Some persons enjoy this lifestyle way of living, much to the disgust of others.

When steps are taken to do something about a certain situation, a release process is put into motion. No longer does one have instilled hostility toward others, but a feeling of hope that destined relief is around the corner.

From Psalm 46: 2, we read, “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.” Thus, with His help, one’s burdens will be lifted.

Just as the balloon becomes smaller to the naked eye, leaving what seemed to be such a troublesome time could be a thing of the past if one turns over everything that was troublesome to God. Hold nothing back, but give it all up to Him and rejuvenation will take place.

Again, we read from the Holy Scriptures, Habakkuk 3:19 states, “God, my Lord, is my strength …He enables me to go upon the heights.”

Continuing to walk with problems restrained, holding on to them, as one would do to a helium balloon ribbon, will only lead to inner tensions and bitterness. Let go and let God help you. Like the balloon, they will be out of your grasp and into His hands.

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.